My Big Day
Bombay Bicycle Club
“Turn the world on / (it won’t wait for you),” Bombay Bicycle Club sing to finish their fifth song on their latest album, My Big Day. It is a bit of a transformation for the indie rock melody makers, (a group that has always defied the norm,) incorporating pop music elements to the max and even enlisting big hitters, like Damon Albarn and Chaka Khan, in much the same way that Eminem or, well, Daman Albarn would, on their ambitious pop-influenced releases.
In interviews, Jack Steadman hit time and time again on how his fan base might be concerned about the direction the band are heading in, but he and the group hold the rudder steady, on a ship, perhaps, headed for a bigger audience and utilization of their gifts of song craft with adventurousness and a decidedly BBC feel. The title single, in a sort of twist of expectations, shows that they still have their sense of humor and self-worth firmly in place, and their attitude towards fame and fortune, by playing on the idea of spending “my big day” in bed, “sleeping lightly”.
For the Bombay Bicycle Club purists, there might be much to offend on this album—a song with one simple lyric repeated over and over again, the delegation of Jack’s central vocals out to pop voices like Holly Humberstone (which sounds great, Jack’s and Holly’s voices together, I think), an addition of sugary feelings to an already dangerously sugary band—but Bombay Bicycle Club put their mark on pop music as much as pop music puts its mark on Bombay Bicycle Club, and, in my opinion, elevates the pop world a good deal in the process.
The content of the album is still introspective and interesting, like all of their other material, this album taking a lot of inspiration from Jack and other band members’ new transition into parenthood. The songs, like “Diving” and “Turn The World On,” work to capture the feeling of being younger, songs that capitalize on their often expert use of nostalgia unburdened by cliche.
Bands evolve and expand, and hopefully they retain enough of the magic and style that drew you to them in the first place. Hopefully this is not a Coldplay-style de-evolution in the making, but the album certainly doesn’t feel like that. And in interviews they have said that the heavy feel at the end of the album is a sort of harbinger of the things to come, that they won’t be getting lighter but heavier in the days to come. Having Damon Albarn on the album seems to be a statement of intent: we might be getting poppier, but we’re gonna hold to our artistic standard and deliver music that will continue to challenge and thrill in good form. If delving into the pop world includes a Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” horn and strings breakdown, like on “Heaven,” I’m along for the ride.
Order My Big Day by Bombay Bicycle Club HERE
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